Stags and Hens

Date 22nd November 2012
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue Sishes Theatre Stevenage
Type of Production Play
Director Cat Nicholls and Ben Willis


Author: Vicki Avery

The first thing that was striking about this production was the staging. Against the backdrop of a nightclub, the stage is home to two toilets: the Ladies and the Gents. Despite the intended grubbiness of said toilets, it actually seemed to provide a warm and welcoming feel, providing us with the environment of the public toilet we were probably all too familiar with in the 70’s. Oh yes, I remember it well! The music and lighting matched the overall mood and the large cast worked hard to take us back to our younger days. Although the subject could easily fit into today’s time line. At any given moment you would find only one half of the stage lit, focusing on either the male or female party as appropriate. There were some really excellent individual performances and I was particularly impressed by the solid teamwork of the Hen Party where each character was thoroughly established and consistently maintained. I especially loved the facial expressions of Grace Maynard as Maureen, the confident optimism of Elizabeth Berman as Bernie and the philosophical realism of Richelle Brundle and Steph Crome. Among the stags, Dave Woolley was a very convincing Eddy, easily able to dominate and manipulate his diverse mates. Clear and sympathetic portrayals here from Peter Kirkby as the uneasy Kav and Alex Hancock and Aaron Govey as the more amusingly predictable Robbie and Billy and Andreas Georgiou gave a very receptive interpretation of the difficult role of Peter. However, much of the success of any production of ‘Stags and Hens’ relies on the amount of sympathy that the audience should ultimately feel towards the confused bride, Linda. In this central role, Sam Rice had a deceptively quiet start which built up steadily throughout the evening to a very moving climax. A sensitive piece of acting, well done. This was a very enjoyable re-staging of a familiar classic and one that the society should be proud of. Here we have a directorial first for this pair of young directors and a combination that I trust will continue in the future. Thank you for your hospitality.